Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mavericks 3, Huskies 2

Minnesota State went up 3-0 and looked like it was cruising to another easy win, but Michigan Tech made it interesting with two late goals and even a waved-off goal that was scored after a whistle. Kael Mouillierat got back on track with a pair of goals, including the game-winner, and Zach Harrison stayed in the running for WCHA offensive player of the week with a goal to give him five points in the series sweep. Austin Lee made 22 saves for his fifth win and looks very much like he has the advantage in the Mavericks' goaltending competition right now.

The Free Press game story can be found here.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

MSU vs. MTU, Game 2 live blog

Tonight's lines (starters in bold):



Scratches: Jokinen, Mosey, Schiller, Zuck, Peterson (inj.), Sackrison (inj.), Dorr (ineligible until Dec. 11)


Brown-Van Wagner


Friday, November 27, 2009

Mavs 5, Huskies 2

Minnesota State opened up a five-goal lead before a home crowd and went on to defeat Michigan Tech 5-2 Friday night.

Zach Harrison had a four-point night (one goal, three assists), Geoff Irwin had two goals (his first since Oct. 16) and an assist and Ben Youds had three assists (giving him a team-high 10 on the year). Irwin, Mike Louwerse and Jerad Stewart scored power-play goals, and Austin Lee, besides his 27 saves, had an assist.

But despite all of those individual stats, the Mavericks were mostly pleased with the way they closed the game. They controlled play in the third period, outshooting Tech 14-4 (41-29 for the game) and giving the Huskies nary a chance over the final 20 minutes.

"We finished that game," Harrison said. "It's the first game all year we really finished."

MSU vs. MTU, Game 1 live blog

Tonight's lines (starters in bold):







Friday-morning skate

It's Black Friday, but that's no reason to not give the PucKato faithful at least something to read this morning. (This will be an abbreviated version, since we're traveling back to Minny from Sconnie this weekend.)

Minnesota State will host Michigan Tech this weekend. For the Mavericks, Austin Lee will get the start in goal for the third weekend in a row, although he has not been declared to be the Mavericks' No. 1 goaltender. Forwards James Gaulrapp and Tyler Thompson will be back in the lineup tonight as well. Meanwhile, senior Jerad Stewart is now the Mavericks' leading scorer, but what's expected of him now following that four-goal, five-point game? The Mavericks hold just a one-point lead over the last-place Huskies in the WCHA standings.

Since this is a shortened version of the FMS (and the car will be warming up soon), I'll defer to Brad Schlossman's blog for more links to what's happening around the WCHA this weekend.

Don't forget to check back with the live blog during tonight's game.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stewart honored by WCHA

Not surprisingly, Mavericks forward Jerad Stewart was honored by the WCHA this week for his four-goal, one-assist game against Alaska-Anchorage on Friday. Stewart was named co-offensive player of the week for his play. 

He shared the honor with Denver forward Joe Colborne, who had a hand in all four of the Pioneers' goals (2-2) in a sweep of North Dakota last weekend.

Other honors went to Denver goalie Marc Cheverie (defensive player of the week) and St. Cloud State goalie Mike Lee (rookie of the week).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Surgery for Sackrison

Minnesota State junior forward Andrew Sackrison will have surgery on his broken leg, he said after the Mavericks practice on Monday.

Sackrison, who had his leg in a cast and was on crutches at All Seasons Arena, said he broke his fibula on what was just a normal hit. The fibula is the non-weight-bearing bone in the leg. However, there were some other complications with the break, and he will have surgery on Friday.

Sackrison said he didn't think the injury would be season-ending. "Probably a couple of months," he said.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Seawolves 4, Mavericks 1

Minnesota State followed up its eight-goal outburst by scoring just once in a 3-1 loss to Alaska-Anchorage on Saturday night. The Mavericks will come home Sunday evening with a series split and in ninth place in the conference standings.

Zach Harrison scored the only goal for the Mavericks. Anchorage opened up a 3-0 lead on goals by Jade Portwood, Tommy Grant and Kevin Clark and added an empty-netter by Grant in the final minute.

The Seawolves had a 25-22 shots-on-goal advantage. MSU goalie Kevin Murdock took the loss.

Minnesota State isn't the only team to have trouble on Saturday night in Alaska. The Seawolves also defeated North Dakota and Denver to force series splits this season.

The Anchorage Daily News story can be found here.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

MSU vs. Anchorage - Game 2

Here are a few more notes going into tonight's game between MSU and UAA:

Jerad Stewart's five-point night was the Mavericks' first five-point game since Jerry Cunningham (how's that for a blast from the past!) had a goal and four assists in a 9-0 win over Findlay on Nov. 3, 2001.

Andrew Sacrkison is out with a broken leg, so Mike Louwerse will return to the lineup. Defensively, Joe Schiller will be in, taking Cameron Cooper's spot.

Tonight's MSU lines will look like this:




I'll try to post some game updates on Twitter -- link here or in the box to the right -- tonight if/when I am able.

Sackrison suffers broken leg and other news out of Alaska

Thanks to Karen Davis (Kurt Davis' mom) for sending this photo. Apparently, this moose greeted the Mavericks when they arrived at their hotel on Thursday.

In other news from Anchorage, junior forward Andrew Sackrison suffered a broken leg during the first period of Friday's game. He went to the hospital and is now in a cast.

I spoke with coach Troy Jutting this afternoon and here are a couple of his comments:

On Jerad Stewart's four-goal, one-assist performance: "Sometimes you get rewarded. He's definitely a kid that shows up and works hard every day and has since day one when he first stepped on campus. ... He had a lot of good opportunities last night. Some of it is puck luck and showing up at the right time, and some of it is being good, too."

On the Mavericks' eight-goal outburst: "I don't know if we played any better or even if we played as good as last weekend or the weekend before that, but we converted our opportunities. It was nice to see the kids rewarded for their effort."

Jutting said that freshman Kevin Murdock would get the start in goal tonight. It will be Murdock's first action since Oct. 31 at Denver.

Mavericks 8, Seawolves 2 (not a typo)

Jerad Stewart scored four goals and assisted on another as Minnesota State trounced Alaska-Anchorage 8-2 Friday night at Sullivan Arena. It was the first collegiate hat trick for Stewart, a senior forward, and the Mavericks' first four-goal game since Shane Joseph had that many in March of 2003. It's also just the second four-goal game by a Maverick in the team's WCHA era.

The Mavericks, who had been having trouble scoring goals recently, won on the road for the first time this season and hit the eight-goal mark for the first time since February of 2004.

Kurt Davis had a goal and an assist, and Rylan Galiardi had two assists. Other goal scorers included Eriah Hayes, Tyler Pitlick and Jason Wiley. The Mavericks outshot the Seawolves 39-15 and goalie Austin Lee got the win with 13 saves.

Minnesota State scored four goals in the first period and the third period.

The win took MSU (4-6-1, 2-6-1 in WCHA) out of the WCHA basement and one point ahead of Anchorage and Michigan Tech, which is idle this weekend.

Junior forward Andrew Sackrison was injured in the first period and was taken to an Anchorage hospital, according to the radio broadcast.

The Anchorage Daily news game story can be found here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mavs-Seawolves online?

Give this link a try for tonight's game.

The link appears broken or bad. I'm listening to the radio broadcast and doing some Twitter updates.

Friday-morning skate

Minnesota State is in Anchorage today, but PucKato is in Mankato. I'll probably be listening to Mike Sullivan's radio call of the games, starting around 10 p.m. both tonight and tomorrow. That doesn't mean the coverage stops, though. Here's a look at this weekend's matchups around the WCHA.

MSU at Anchorage: Tonight's game will be a homecoming of sorts for Mavericks freshman Eli Zuck, an Anchorage native who spent four years playing for Shattuck-St. Mary's in Faribault. One of the reasons he got a spot in the lineup, though, is coach Troy Jutting's decision to sit the team's penalty leader, Mike Louwerse, for a game. ... As for the Seawolves, junior forward Tommy Grant knows a little something about what Kael Mouillerat's going through. Grant had 15 goals last season but has no goals in Anchorage's last 11 games.

Duluth at Minnesota: The Bulldogs have had plenty of scoring from the likes of Justin Fontaine, but they're 4-0-1 when defenseman Brady Lamb scores. ... Meanwhile, Minnesota is also relying on a defenseman, Brian Schack, who has to play for the Gophers' struggling and depleted lineup.

Wisconsin at St. Cloud: Sticking with the defenseman theme, the Badgers' Ryan McDonough doesn't know his own strength. ... For the Huskies, forward Tony Mosey has displayed his skills this season, scoring four times on the power play.

North Dakota at Denver: This is the league's marquee matchup and might be every year in recent history. However, some key players are likely out for both teams, including UND's Chay Genoway and DU's Marc Cheverie. ... One guy who will play is Pioneers forward Rhett Rakhshani, who has taken an unusual route to college hockey.

Robert Morris at Colorado College: Fresh of of their sweep of Minnesota State, the Tigers will step out of WCHA play for the weekend. But with the parity in college hockey this season, CC is not overlooking the Colonials.

In other WCHA news, the Grand Forks Herald takes a closer look at some of this year's illegal hits, and Inside College Hockey looks at how WCHA officials got a chekcing-from-behind call correct -- eventually.

Here are weekend previews from USCHO and This is the WCHA.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

You want answers?!?! 11.19.09

Greetings from Mankato, where I'll be this weekend while the Mavericks are in Alaska. The team left today and should be there now. With any further delay, let's get to your questions ...

From Nation: Who will be on the trip to Anchorage?" Who is the starting goalie on Friday? Is it too early to call out Justin Jokinen. He has not produced. It reminds me of Andy Sackrison's sophomore slump?
Nation, the lineup will be similar to last weekend, except Eli Zuck, an Anchorage native will play (see Friday's Free Press for more on Zuck). Tyler Thompson is out with an injury, and Mike Louwerse is on the trip but will be a scratch tonight because he's taking too many penalties. Louwerse was in the box for all three of CC's goals last Saturday and leads the team in penalties and PIMs. He can't be that guy. ... As for the starting goalie, I don't know. Jutting often announces that on Wednesday or Thursday but he was on a recruiting trip and was going to be meeting up with the team today. Austin Lee and Kevin Murdock are on the trip, and I think a case can be made for either one. Check the blog on Friday for more. ... As for Jokinen, he has played well in spurts but hasn't been really consistent. I thought he showed something last Friday but was a scratch on Saturday. Jutting said there was no specific reason for that except to get Thompson in. Even so, that puts Jokinen as a fringe player who is always fighting for a spot. He'll be back in the lineup tonight.

From Nation: What can you tell us about Brett Stern, the Mavs' latest recruit?
More questions, Nation? The little I've heard has been good. He's a 6-foot-2, 175-pound defenseman from Centennial. He played with Tyler Pitlick last year. He'll be coming in 2011 after playing a season of junior hockey. Here's a story on him by the Minnesota Hockey Hub website.

From Sam: What is up with the Mavs' lack of scoring? Scoring has always been something this team has been relatively good at. What time will the radio broadcasts/live blog begin for this weekend's games in Alaska? Will Murdock get one or perhaps both starts in Anchorage?
Sam, the lack of scoring is troubling right now. They're averaging 2.00 goals per game in conference play and have been shut out twice at home. They're getting chances but it's like the entire team is in a scoring slump. Kael Mouillierat had 17 goals last season and has one through 10 games this year -- and he's got 28 shots on goal. They have played three pretty good defensive teams so far, so let's see what happens over the next four games against Anchorage and Tech before panicking. ... The games begin at 10:07 p.m. CST. I will not be making the trip, so there is no live blog this weekend. Sorry. ... I would not be surprised if Murdock goes one night. If he plays on Friday and plays great -- like Lee did last Friday -- I could see him playing again Saturday.

From Joe: What did you think about the call on Canzanello on Friday night? If you were the ref in that situation would you make the same call?
Joe, I think it's a judgement call. Personally, I want to see penalties called when scoring chances are taken away and don't think that was what happened here. I also want to see consistency. If the point of emphasis is to limit the amount of time a player checks or rides a player after that players has given up the puck (and it is), then it should be called throughout the game. I'm not saying that was not a penalty, but I did think it was a curious call at the time. How's that for a cop out? It was too bad for Canzanello, too, because I thought he was playing an extraordinary game.

From Joe: After that call, Jutting had a heated discussion with the ref about not being able to switch the personnel on the ice at the beginning of the penalty kill and consequently the Tigers scored. Why wouldn't the referee allow the substitution at that point? If Jutting didn't feel like he had the right personnel, why didn't he call timeout so he could get the right personnel out there?
Joe, forgive me, but I have not sought an explanation for this and I should. First of all, I'm not certain that that was what he was arguing. I think he was arguing about the call, but I could be wrong. Perhaps a timeout would have been in order there. The Mavericks on the ice for the goal were forward Rylan Galiardi and defensemen Channing Boe, Ben Youds and Kurt Davis. Galiardi was tossed out of the faceoff, and Youds took and lost the faceoff. Other than not having a backup forward to take the draw, is that a bad group to have on the ice in that situation?

From Joe: The Mavericks stand in 10th place right now and have three important series coming up against UAA, Tech and Minnesota. Out of those six games, how many points do you feel they need to get before the winter break? Which forward do you think will step up and score goals. Also, what do you think about Kurt Davis' year so far. Do you think they'll have a goalie decided by winter break?
If they can get eight points in this stretch, I think that would be good enough to keep themselves afloat going into the second half. They've played a tough schedule so far, so playing Anchorage and Tech, they have to make hay over the next two weeks. ... Who will step up and score goals? Geez, that's tough. I think they'll start coming for Mouillierat. I like what I've seen from Pitlick and think he's going to start scoring, too. ... Davis definitely hasn't had a start like he did last year. He's been benched once and the Mavericks won that game -- their last win, too. ... Not sure about the goalie situation. If both are playing well, I think they can go into January with a rotation. I don't see any reason to rush and pick a No. 1 if one hasn't emerged yet.

From Purgolder: What's the word on the PP? Any potential changes in personnel to generate more scoring? When he is able to play, do you think Dorr will add a needed offensive punch?
Purgolder, The PP will be about the same, although with Louwerse out tonight, it looks like Hayes will take his spot. Jutting told me this week that he's been pleased with the improvement of the PP. They're moving the puck pretty good but like every other phase of their game, they're not scoring. ... Yes, I think Dorr will add offense. It sounds like they're excited about him and expect him to be in the lineup as soon as he's eligible, which will be the Bemidji State series.

From Richard: Midseason report card for the team.
Richard, I'll try to do that at the midway point.

From Ian: Who do you think is the next Mav to put on an NHL jersey?
Ian, of the guys on the current team, I think it will probably be Tyler Pitlick. He'll get drafted next summer and then who knows what will happen. Hopefully, he'll be around for three more years before making the jump to the NHL. Justin Jokinen and Andy Sackrison are NHL draft picks, and I think Eriah Hayes could be an attractive free agent.

From Teamworker: We've been reading "the team is playing, just not scoring." Would this not be a good time to try a couple of the guys that have been sitting? Looking at the stats, they have a freshman D who has two assists and is +2 in four games. Is he injured?
Teamworker, I think having a healthy Geoff Irwin and Jason Wiley in the lineup will help. Eli Zuck will play tonight and has a chance to grab a spot in the lineup. The only player who hasn't played as much as I thought he might is James Gaulrapp, who always seems to give the Mavs a bit of a spark when he's in there. The defenseman you're referring to is Evan Mosey, and he had a nice start to the year. I think they like him -- Jutting tells me week after week that he likes all eight defensemen -- a lot, but he's been on the outside looking in of late. I don't think he's hurt; he has been practicing.

From Hockey25: Can you explain what is being done to improve the penalty kill? It seems the last few years we have been toward the bottom of the league in this category. Otherwise it seems like they are a very solid team.
Hockey 25, the PK was pretty good last Friday until the OT goal. For the weekend, they held the best power play in the WCHA to three goals on 13 chances. That's still 23 percent, but it was 10 percent below what the Tigers had been doing. The kill is one area that definitely needs to get better, though. Nearly half of their opponents' goals -- 15 of 31 -- have come with an MSU player in the penalty box.

From LetsGoMavs: Can you do a little blurb on Chad Brownlee, noting that his new song, "The Best That I Can," and his song for Anthony Ford, "The Hero I See," are now on iTunes? Let's encourage people to purchase them and help his career out!
LetsGoMavs, you just did the blurb. Thanks! I'll see if I can do a story on Brownlee in the near future.

Thanks to all of you for your questions. Lots of stuff this week. I hope I gave you something to chew on. If I didn't get to your question, it probably means I don't have a good answer right now.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You want answers?!?! (updated)

It's that time again. Time for your questions and my answers on MSU hockey and, really, anything else that happens on your mind this week (come on, Puckato readers, watcha got?). The Mavericks will be heading to Anchorage on Thursday. I'll post the answers late Thursday or early Friday (they're coming, I promise).

New unis

Here's what the Mavericks new, alternate jerseys look like. They were unveiled on Saturday night and feature a patch on the right shoulder honoring the 40th anniversary of MSU hockey. (Free Press photo)

Shots to the head and who's to blame?

The NCAA is going to meet via conference call to clarify shots to the head in hockey, according to the Grand Forks Herald. The WCHA suspended St. Cloud State's Aaron Marvin for Saturday's game after hitting North Dakota's Chay Genoway from behind on Friday. Genoway is out indefinitely. Marvin spoke about the hit on Monday.

Earlier this season, Wisconsin suspended Craig Smith for an extra game (he also received a DQ, which includes a one-game suspension) after his high hit from behind on Minnesota State's Geoff Irwin, which caused Irwin to miss two games. Also Minnesota freshman defenseman Nick Leddy had his jaw broken and is out six weeks after getting hit high with the shoulder of Alaska-Anchorage's Jade Portwood. Although no penalty was called on the play, Gophers coach Don Lucia called the hit illegal and asked the WCHA to suspend Portwood. The league did not.

Between this story and so much discussion about concussions in sports recently, I wouldn't be surprised now to see more suspensions if the hits don't start coming down soon.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Canzanello's penalty - what do you think?

The College Hockey Weekend crew has posted their highlights from the MSU-CC series. It includes the overtime sequence from Friday night with Nick Canzanello's holding penalty and Rylan Schultz's game-winning goal with around one minute left in overtime of a scoreless game.

What do you think? Penalty? No penalty? Can't call that there? Gotta call it?

How does MSU rank?

Monday is stat day for me, the day I compile college hockey standings and MSU and WCHA scoring and goalie stats for The Free Press' print edition. Just thought I'd delve a little deeper today, though and show where the Mavericks rank in the WCHA in various team categories eight games into the season (St. Cloud State is the only team to play just six conference games).

These are based on conference games only (thanks to College Hockey Stats).

• Scoring offense: 2.00 goals per game - tied for ninth (1. CC and UMD, 3.62)
• Scoring defense: 3.50 goals per game - eighth (1. UND, 1.62)
• Penalty minutes: 19.6 PIM per game - sixth lowest (1. CC, 15.8; UAA highest at 24.1)
• Power play: 15.4 percent - sixth (1. CC, 33.3)
• Penalty kill: 74.5 percent - ninth (1. UND, 91.1)
• Combined special teams: 50.0 percent - fifth (1. UND 58.2)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

CC 3, MSU 2 (updated)

Minnesota State looks like the most dangerous 10th-place team in the WCHA right now after putting together a string of five solid games but going 1-3-1, including a loss and a tie at then-No. 2 Denver and dropping two games this weekend to No. 10 Colorado College.

For CC, freshman goalie Joe Howe was the difference. The Mavericks probably win Saturday's game if not for Howe's play.

"He was money tonight," Mavericks coach Troy Jutting said.

Howe shut out the Mavericks on Friday but made saved his most impressive stops for Saturday, sliding over to steal a sure goal from Tyler Pitlick in the first period, poking away Zach Harrison's penalty shot before he could fire the puck and moving post to post and making saves on each side midway through the third period.

"It is frustrating," Harrison said. "There's no going back to the drawing board because we're playing good hockey. We're making one-on-one-plays in the corner. We're winning battles. We just gotta put the puck in the net."

The Mavericks and Tigers don't play again in the regular season, although the way things currently stand in the standings -- CC in first, MSU in last (yes, I know it's November) -- they could meet up again in the first round of the WCHA tournament.

Minnesota State sits one point behind Alaska-Anchorage and Michigan Tech, the Mavs' next two opponents.

Read more here and here.

MSU vs. CC -Game 2 live blog

Tigers 1, Mavericks 0, OT

Saturday's Free Press game story can be found here. The Colorado Springs Gazette story is here.

One thing no one was talking about was the holding penalty on Nick Canzanello that led to Rylan Schwartz's power-play goal in overtime. There are, of course, rules and fines about criticizing officiating, so coaches simply choose not to say anything at all. Sadly, for reporters and, more importantly, readers and fans, that means they won't talk about -- what last night, anyway -- was the most critical moment of the game.

Still, if you can read body language and tension, it was pretty easy to see how the MSU coaches and players felt about the penalty -- one of those how-do-you-make-that-call-at-that-time-of-the-game situations you often hear about in hockey. Canzanello stood up William Rapuzzi at the blue line in the middle of the rink and rode him a bit after the puck was sent deep, prompting the penalty call with 62 seconds remaining in OT.

Mavericks coach Troy Jutting pleaded with referee Marco Hunt in a short-but-heated exchange, to no avail, of course.

I thought Canzanello, a senior defenseman, was having one of his better games up to that point. For example, in the first period, he intercepted the puck in the neutral zone, carried it deep and passed across to Mike Louwerse, who tapped it just wide.

The Mavericks certainly had their chances to score in regulation, even with goalie Joe Howe playing a great game (MSU's Austin Lee also played his best game of the season), and as Jutting said afterward:

"(W)hen you get down to it, when you get 30 shots on net, you gotta find a way to put the puck in the net, so we don't put ourselves in that situation."

Friday, November 13, 2009

MSU vs. CC - Game 1 live blog

Friday-morning skate

It's gameday in Mankato, and the Mavericks will host the 10th-ranked Colorado College Tigers tonight. A few notes before getting to this weekend's stories:

MSU senior forwards Geoff Irwin and Jason Wiley are expected to be back in the lineup tonight after missing a combined seven games with injuries. ... The Mavs have just one player not available and that's forward Brett Peterson. ... Austin Lee will get the start tonight in goal for the Mavericks.

Previewing the series, Minnesota State has gotten good production from its freshmen this season, notably Tyler Pitlick and Eriah Hayes, who took very different paths to college hockey. ... As for CC, defenseman Stephen Schultz has made a significant contribution to the WCHA's top offense.

Going around the rest of the WCHA, it's been a crazy week with players leaving, players saying they're not leaving, and not one but two suspensions. There's controversy in Duluth with the way students were behaving in the stands during the MSU series a few weeks ago.

On to the games ...

St. Cloud State at North Dakota: The Sioux have quite the home advantage, putting together a 16-game unbeaten streak at The Ralph and drawing more than 11,700 fans per game. This begins a tough stretch of games for North Dakota. ... Meanwhile, the Huskies are harkening back to 2006 when they last swept a series in Grand Forks.

Anchorage at Wisconsin: The Badgers, coming off a split with Minnesota, is mixing up its lineup again. ... Meanwhile, the Seawolves are coming off their best offensive game in eight years.

Michigan Tech at Duluth: The Bulldogs have a father-son connection, the News-Tribune reports. ... As for the Huskies, they appear to have found their goaltender.

Bemidji State at Minnesota: In always-dramatic Minnesota, the Gophers will host the undefeated and future-WCHA-member Beavers, who are ranked No. 7 in the country, in a Saturday-Sunday series. The short-handed Gophers are looking for more scoring.

Here are previews by USCHO and This is the WCHA.

Finally, the College Hockey Weekend TV crew from Bethany Lutheran College did a day in the life of Minnesota State's Rylan Galiardi. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here.

Don't forget to check the live blog right here during tonight's MSU-CC game the Verizon Wireless Center.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Leivermann shines for Fargo (UPDATED)

Another recruit expected to sign with the Mavericks this week is Corey Leivermann, the former Mankato West standout forward. Leivermann, who is an assistant captain with the Fargo Force and a teammate of recruits Matt Leitner and Chase Grant, now ranks second on the team in scoring with 11 points in 11 games. On Friday night, he had two goals, two assists and even got in a fight.

The Fargo trio is expected to sign their letters of intent on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Former Bulldog Brett Hull goes to the Hall

Long before Minnesota State joined the WCHA, Brett Hull was a star in the league, playing two seasons at Minnesota Duluth before going on to a fantastic NHL career. On Monday, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Here is Kevin Pates' story on Hull from the Duluth News-Tribune.

MSU recruit leads U.S. team to title

Minnesota State recruit Matt Leitner scored the game-winning goal in the U.S. Junior Select Team's win in the championship game of the World Junior A Challenge on Sunday in Summerside Prince Edward Island.

Leitner, who plays for the Fargo Force, scored 50 seconds into the third period of the 2-1 win over Canada West. Leitner, who is expected to sign with Minnesota State when the early signing period begins this week, finished the tournament with a goal and four assists.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday morning skate

Good morning. The Mavericks are idle this weekend, and the break probably comes at a good time since the team has some bumps and bruises that need healing. Coach Troy Jutting told me this week that, at the very least, injured captain Geoff Irwin isn't missing two games this week -- although he made no guarantees that Irwin would be ready for the Colorado College series.

As for PucKato, I previewed the Minnesota State women's hockey team's long-awaited home debut tonight and talked to fifth-year senior Ashley Young, who is the last of the famed South St. Paul trio on the team, proving the the old quote about "the best laid plans" correct (print edition only). On Saturday, I'll actually be heading to St. Cloud to cover the MSU football team's attempt to finish the regular season undefeated.

Getting back to men's hockey, here's what's happening around the WCHA ...

Minnesota travels to Wisconsin for a border battle without the services of freshman defenseman Nick Leddy (out six weeks with broken jaw) and senior forward Jay Barriball (out for the season with a knee injury). The Star Tribune takes a look at Mike Hoeffel's growing game, while a Wisconsin State Journal story reports that the Badgers aren't worried about history when determining tonight's lineup.

North Dakota is at Michigan Tech, and the Sioux have seen maturity in Mario Lamoureux, who is among a long line of players who have had older brothers play in the program. Meanwhile, the Huskies are coming off a satisfying series split with St. Cloud State.

Minnesota Duluth travels to Colorado College. For the Bulldogs, scoring goals hasn't been a problem so far, however, reducing penalties is a priority -- for both teams. The Tigers, meanwhile, can credit the play of senior Bill Sweatt as a big reason for their strong start.

Denver and three of its Alaska natives, including goalie Adam Murray, are heading north to play Alaska-Anchorage.

Here are some WCHA previews from USCHO, INCH and This is the WCHA.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mavs' Harrison featured

Minnesota State senior forward Zach Harrison hails from Flint, Mich., but he's also called Colorado and Minnesota home. The Denver Post touched on the former Denver-area youth player after last weekend's series. According to the article, a 12-year-old Harrison was a member of a Littleton, Colo., peewee team that won a national championship. Among his teammates that season were Denver standouts Tyler Ruegsegger and Chris Nutini.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mavs 4, Pios 4, OT

The Mavericks had their best effort of the young season this weekend but will leave Denver with just one point for WCHA standings. A 4-4 tie tonight. More here.